EDITORIAL | The state capture inquiry has been expensive, but important
The commission has done great work in exposing the scale of corruption. Let it complete its work
A collective sigh of frustration sounded through SA last week when deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo filed urgent court papers seeking another extension to complete the work of the state capture inquiry. It has been a pricey exercise, running to about R1bn, with the highest-paid senior counsel costing as much as R38,000 a day. These are numbers that make eyes water in a country where a fifth of the population lives below the extreme poverty line of just more than R600 a month. Has the commission’s work been worth it? This is the question we need to ask ourselves before judging the judge.
Zondo, in his umpteenth request for an extension, pleaded for more time - until December 31 - to complete the three-year investigation. The previous extension expires on September 30. Zondo said he had hoped to have the first draft done by the end of June, the second by August and the third and final drafts by mid-September. But he had made an error in the estimation of how long the drafting of the reports would take, adding that one of his team members had been off sick for a month, further delaying the process.
“When I made the assessment that my team and I should be able to complete the report by the end of September, I did so on the basis of the time I believed it would take to complete the first drafts and the time it would take for us to complete the second drafts and the third drafts ... I need to point out that the amount of work involved under the different topics or work streams is not the same. The work involves the preparation of summaries and analysis of evidence led over a period of three years, in which more than 330 witnesses testified,” he said in court papers...